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Old 04-14-2017, 11:42 AM   #1
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The "IronJoe Doing Things" thread

First off, no, I still don't own a Saab. Maybe some day. But I miss you nerds so I figured I'd keep you all apprised of my car-related nonsense.

So where'd we leave off? Oh yes. I shared with you all my E36 M3 I bought as a daily driver. Well it's been almost two years since I bought it, and it's been a very solid commuter. I get pretty decent gas mileage, even. Mid-20s.



Also as I shared in another thread, in October 2015 my E30 M3 was totaled. Well, I never actually shared what I have done with it. After buying it back from the insurance company, I chose to harvest everything possible and build another car. I picked a chassis and the project became a re-shell into a convertible chassis, complete with a full OEM sheetmetal widebody conversion. You all know how much I like crazy convertibles


The donor:



Bought all brand new OEM widebody M3 sheet metal from BMW.


Spent a great deal of time swapping in the engine, running gear, suspension, interior, and a million other little things. Bought a few fun items like a naughty set of slant lipped BBS RS to complete the package. It now runs and drives great, and we're moving into the body work phase. The front end is all put together, so the next bit is to graft on the rear quarter panels and paint.












The E30 M3 convertible was built in small numbers, less than 800, and never sold in North America. So this is a "replica" in that I started with a 325i chassis and I will never try to pass it off as the real thing. But IMHO it's the best damn M3 vert replica that's ever been built, because I have been meticulous about every single bracket, bolt, hose, and clip in the conversion. I have seen a few of these made and they all took shortcuts at some point.
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^ IronJoe doesn't park, he lands.
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:50 AM   #2
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And this week I picked up another rescue - a 2002 E46 M3 in Topaz Blue. SMG transmission, I bought it for a fraction of its worth due to an unknown running gear issue. I assumed it was the SMG pump/system, but it's turning out to be a good ole fashioned clutch job.

This car is bananas. Freaking awesome. And I stole it

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Old 04-17-2017, 09:16 AM   #3
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awesome update
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:46 AM   #4
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Awesome stuff. You should post more pictures of your replica vert. That's really neat.
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Old 04-17-2017, 11:14 AM   #5
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Cool. The two best 3-series eras well represented.
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:01 AM   #6
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Mike D was trying to tell me that you can do some trickery to make an SMG a full manual?
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:15 AM   #7
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Mike D was trying to tell me that you can do some trickery to make an SMG a full manual?
Yes. In fact, much of the trans itself is interchangeable with a standard 6mt like the casing/trans itself. If you find an SMG car(which can be much cheaper than a 6mt) you may be able to convert it to a 6mt and still save yourself money compared to an standard manual car.

I lucked out. I needed a 420 6mt for my conversion on the Roadster. BMW gets $6k for a dealer rebuilt unit. I got a LOW mile trans rebuilt AT the dealer by a master tech on his own time using all OEM parts for $1200

I also scored through a friend (F+R)996 911 Brembos custom power coated to my color(silver, black Brembo script instead of PORSCHE).
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:25 AM   #8
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Mike D was trying to tell me that you can do some trickery to make an SMG a full manual?
Yep. Very simple, the transmission is the same as a manual car. There are just a few mods made to the bellhousing for a manual (tapping a few holes and adding some springs) that can be done DIY, or there's a guy that does them on an exchange basis for $500. Rip out all the SMG stuff, add pedals and a manual shifter setup and good to go.

Can be done for less than a grand, much cheaper if you source used parts. SMG pumps are $3000+ when they let go, so finding these cars with trans problems are the best deals around.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:23 AM   #9
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VERY interesting.
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